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From Jon Shields

A Frankensaga!

Attached are pictures of the Saga Frankenstrat I built and here is my tale.

My saga build all started out with a late night, browsing the internet for tabs. I saw a guitar add for a "paint your own guitar" web site and the cover guitar for the add of course was EVH's Frankenstrat. I thought that would be a great thing to do to my black strat that I bought in Korea. After some hard thinking, I decided to leave the black one alone and build from scratch. I also was intrigued by the guitarworld (or was it guitar one?) article on the replicas.

Well after checking all the prices on ash bodies and maple necks I decided a Saga kit would be best for me since I had never assembled a guitar before. I of course found your site and used your previous research a great deal.

I ordered my kit from Amazon due to my trust issues with ebay (paid a little more for peace of mind). I ordered locking Grover tuners and a DiMarzio DP196 Virtual PAF.

I did a dry fit of all the pieces and gave it a test run. I then went to work chiseling out the pickup cavity. I found a "template" on the web and went to work tracing and chiseling. It went pretty well but I used very small steps. I tested the fit and All was well so it was time to paint! I first tried to strip the sanding sealer off but gave up and went straight to painting. I used Rustoleum for white and black since it was all I could find.

The black went on well. I used your taping almost exclusively, I didn't get as precise with the locations and sizes as you did (I wish I had). The white on the other hand really went bad. I test fired the white spray can on some card board and was ready to roll. I turned the can to the guitar and out came chunks of white! I didn't know what to do so I finished it off with the intent of sanding it down. Big mistake! I should have took it completely off and started a fresh coat of black. When I finally got the white coat sanded smooth.

 I removed the tape and the black stripes were about 1/16" lower than the white! Again I should have started over but the wait was just killing me! I strung it up and played it for a while as a white and black model. I eventually painted it red. The red I used was krylon cherry red. Lets just say I now know what color not to use! So now with my finished product (for now). I'm not happy with the shade of red, the entire coat of white, and the small black stripes. I wanted the white and black paint job so I painted the small black stripes and didn't think about getting rid of them before going red.

While all the painting was going on I cut the head stock from a template I got from Wikipedia and I tried to give it a CBS look. I taped cigarettes to the headstock and just waived it in the air to get the burns. I plan to repaint the whole thing, get a full maple neck, I need to get a black pick guard as well and I also plan to someday add a Floyd Rose and locking nut. I also got my hands on a 1971 quarter! After looking for 2 months, I just found one in my change from a cup of coffee!

The guitar was fun to make and I hope to build more. Happy building!

Great job, Jon -- "Somebody Get Me a Doctor"!

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